LIFESTYLE: Doddle Runner App Secret Santa

Wednesday 30 December 2015

When the secret santa campaigns start to roll in at this time of year I always get very excited to take part! Todays one was is in collaboration with Doddle - they are little huts at stations, shopping centres and universities that you can send or collect your parcels from at a time that suits you. They have a new runner service exclusive to Londoners by which you take a photo of whatever your sending, post it on the app and a Runner will pick it up from wherever you are and send it on for you.

So what day did I pick to post my package?! I left it until Friday, the day that we decided to spend our lunch break plus the next three hours in the pub. I thought I'd made this really hard for myself but I was so shocked at how easy it was! I ordered my runner to come at 2pm, left my gift with the receptionist and that was the end of that. The runner had come to pick it up and took it off you my secret santa while I was at the pub drinking prosecco.

The next day, I got a package to my house from Doddle. My secret santa didnt stay very secret for very long and luckily for me, she asked me if there was anything in particular that I wanted! I picked out a Kate Spade notebook, some chocolate truffles and a jar of prosecco gummy bears, sadly, no one mentioned to us beforehand that they wouldnt deliver glass so I never got those in the end but my other two products arrived safely!

All in all I think it works great. I got to the post office during lunch most weeks and have to stand in a que of 20+ people every time so this is a really great alternative!
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FASHION: 48 Hours In Denim #OffDutyDenim

Monday 28 December 2015

You guys already know how much I used to love my black jeans but blue jeans are something I am still working on. So when George at ASDA asked me to pick a pair and see how I dress them up and down over a weekend, I decided to go for a ripped blue pair. 

Firstly, I just want to mention how comfortable these are, I haven't worn jeans properly for around seven months now because I am just finding them so uncomfortable but these are the softest, stretchiest pair of jeans I own so I was happy to give them a go - good start.

The weekend I picked, Andrew and I stayed at The Milestone Hotel! I have a whole other post to come on that but this one is just going to talk through what I wore. My dad actually drove us all the way there so to travel in, I started with a simple black look. I paired them with a plain black long sleeve tee, my over the knee boots and I took my amazing new faux shearling coat along for the weekend. I love wearing my OTKs with my new jeans because I love the contrast of the jeans to the boots.

I wore them again, later on that evening for drinks at the bar with my new gold sequin crop top that I picked up in H&M and my new George boots too! Lastly, to come home, we had to get the tube so out came the glasses and I switched it up for some comfortable converse and a grey slouchy tee.

Which Is Your Favourite Style?

CHRISTMAS: Stocking Fillers + Fitbit Giveaway

Tuesday 22 December 2015

In my house, stocking fillers are the main event when it comes to christmas presents, we do things a bit backwards now that were all grown up! There are no more stockings, just lots of small gifts under the tree, which my mum calls stocking fillers. This year, she bought me some surprises and tasked me with picking out the other half for myself. So while I was out hunting, I was also collecting some other bits and pieces that I thought would work perfectly in my stocking fillers guide! 

For the Beauty Lovers: There are so many lovely kits and sets that come out around Christmas time that it was just too hard to pick! I am mainly an eyes person when it comes to make up so both these eye kits are great! Soap & Glory Eyes Box just £18 but has four full sized products inside! Benefit have something similar with their sexy eyes on the run set which is more travel sized with mini versions of they're real! push-up liner, brown and black mascaras and remover - all you need to throw in your handbag. Lastly in the eye area is this The Glo and Ray Skybreaker Eyeliner kit, £28, from Beauty Mart which contains six different colours waterproof eyeliner pencils and a sharpener to keep the liners precision perfect! Lastly, I have some makeup bits from The Body Shop, I really fell in love with the packaging on this stuff!

For lips, I have a customizable limited edition EOS set which has three of the cute lip blams in Sweet Mint, Pomegranate Raspberry and Vanilla Bean, all enriched with conditioning oils, shea butter and Vitamin E. They smell incredible. A set of jeweled art stickers comes included inside - annnd this cute little Kissmas Cracker from Soap & Glory with a lip gloss inside - super cute and adorably stocking-sized.

Lastly, I have this Body Therapy set from Dermalogica designed to help you achieve healthy skin from head to toe. Inside, you get a body was, hydrating cream and a small body scrub.
This year I realised how much everyone loves candles! We have never used them in my house because I have a bit of an issue with not believing that I put them out, although Andrew's mum always has them burning and it makes everything better, they are super pretty and fill the whole house with a warm, cosy scent.

I have four minis from Yankee here which I will definitely be taking around the Andrews house for his mum. They are the small jars which are £8.99 and they are just so cute, I love their christmassy colours and little lids! They are new Christmas fragrances for 2015 and are available in all of Yankee Candle's six classic candle forms.  Berry Trifle which obviously smells like fresh berries with a hint of vanilla too, Bundle up which is one of those clean, citrusy scents, Cosy by the fire which is the majorly christmassy one with ginger, orange and clove and Winter Glow is meant to smell like a crisp winters day. My favourite for this time of year, obviously is Cosy by The Fire, but I seriously love them all!
I mentioned these earler this year but they are great gifts! I have already given one to Georgia and one to Juanita! They are the perfect gifts for the coffee drinkers in my life! £7.95 in Costa stores.
and for the tea drinkers? I was surprised at how lovely the gifts on the twinings website were! This cute golden bauble is filled with teabags and the green tin is filled with loose leaf mint tea! I had convinced Andrew that we need to order from Twinings for his family secret santa! You just cant go wrong with tea!
and for the chocolate lovers like me, I have a new obsession. Charbonnel et Walker truffles. Every Christmas I see people instgram photos of these boxes and every time, I tell Andrew I want to try some, he always forgets and so do I and then it never happens! Well this year is different, I spotted the stand when I was in Harrods and we got two to try and since then I have been on the hunt for more, they were delisicou! I found the cute little heart box in John Lewis and the huge round box in their store on old bond street! Next on the list are the Pink Champange ones and some more Banana and Caramel ones mmmm
And lastly, for getting healthy: Both Andrew and I have had a fitbit for quite a while now and they really are great! They are accurate and easy to use to track steps, distance and calories burned which is going to be perfect for anyone trying to be healthy, especially in January!

Since we got Molly and moved out to the middle of the forest, my dad is obcessed with counting the steps and distance of his walks so this is a perfect Christmas gift for him. It just syncs up with your phone and you can access all of your stats on the go plus it keeps track from day to day so you can see your progress. It also has a battery life of 7-10 days which is incredible for technology these days and comes in four different colours.
I have a Fitbit Charge to giveaway to help get one of you kick started for a healthy 2016! Just enter below as usual!

Good Luck!

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LIFESTYLE: #LightNightIn With Popchips

Monday 21 December 2015

Popchips wanted me to have a light night in on them - like I was going to turn that down?! They have two new Limited Edition flavours which they asked me to theme my night around. Sea salt, garlic and rosemary and sea salt, caramelised onion and thyme, both are super light and half the fat.

Georgia met me after work and off we went to Tesco to get all of the essentials, you know - Prosecco, cheese - essentials. Me and Georgia have been best friends for ages and when she isn't traveling across the world and we find time to meet up she takes over from Andrew and does everything for me haha so she took charge of the trolley and wouldn't let me carry any of the heavy bags!
First thing we did once we got back was pour ourselves a drink with Georgia nearly smashing a light with the cork in the the opening process, and she calls herself a professional cocktail maker haha. I left her to get stuck in with the gift hamper that Funkin Cocktails sent me the night before whilst emptied everything out on the counter and tried to work out how we were going to manage to cook a three course meal.
 You might have noticed I've been going on about trying a baked Camembert for quite a while now so this was the perfect opportunity to try it flavoured with the Rosemary and Thyme. We had no idea what we were doing so I just stuffed it with herbs and threw it in the oven until it started to bubble.
Once it was ready we all grabbed some baguette and got stuck in.. except Georgia, she went straight in with the spoon haha
There was no way we were finishing it on our own so I called my mum and brothers in to have some. They came in for cheese and ended up staying all night.
 For mains went for rosemary and thyme chicken which Georgia did all by herself and was amazing! I have no idea how she knows what she was doing but good job she made so much because everyone wanted some.
While she was working on that I was getting started on dessert. I wanted something salty to represent the crisps so went with salted caramel chocolate brownies of course, was there any other option?! Someone couldn't resist getting involved in that too..
 and as the room filled with the smell of hot brownies, no one could wait for them to cool. Taking Georgias lead from earlier, we all grabbed a spoon and ate them hot and gooey from the baking tin.
We spent the rest of the night chatting in the kitchen, finishing off all the crisps and playing with Molly while Reece filled us in on his first three months at uni! Such a fun night! Big thanks to Popchips for initiating it!

LIFESTYLE: Dinner At YO! Sushi

Friday 18 December 2015

I was super excited when YO! Sushi invited me along for a review! I remember my first ever visit when my parents took me for lunch at Bluewater on one of our shopping trips and my love for the place has just grown ever since, I just love watching everything being made freshly in from you me and then grabbing everything I like the look of as it goes around the conveyor belt. It's my favourite place for sushi and I stop off whenever I get a chance!  

For our trip, I thought I'd be nice and meet Andrew on his side of London so we visited the St Paul branch. It was quite when we got there but soon filled up with city workers and packed full.
I was clever enough to accidentally book my review on a Monday which was amazing news because YO Sushi do something called Blue Mondays where most of their dishes come on blue plates costing just £2.70. We grabbed a booth and pulled a few dishes off the conveyor belt whilst we decided on what to order.
Luckily, most of our favourite dishes were included in the Blue Monday deal so we stocked up on sashimi and gyozas among other things.
The Sumo bowls have been available from 10th November and neither of us had ever had one before so we weren't really sure what to expect for £8. There was quite a nice selection dishes with a few each of noodle, rice and curry dishes.
 Andrew picked the chicken katsu curry which he was very impressed with and actually preferred it over Wagas version which is a big statement. The bowl itself was huge and although I am nothing to go by, telling you that Andrew couldn't finish his is quite a big deal. I had the teriyaki beef, which I would definitely get again because that was also delicious, and huge.

 Have You Tried A Sumo Bowl Yet?

LIFESTYLE: 5 Places I'd Love To Visit In The UK

Thursday 17 December 2015

I have written loads about all the excotic places that I would love to visit but there are also a few places closer to home that I would love to see! I've put together a list of my top 5 and hopefully I can manage them all in 2016!

Cadbury world in Birmingham
I have been here quite a few times before but not for a long time! My parents love stratford-upon-avon and my brother has just started at uni in Birmingham so hopefully I can convince them to take me next time they go to visit him, then we can stay overnight and go to Cadbury World the next day! See I've got it all planned out
Rosewood Hotel In Holborn
I have been going on about this one for ages now! I'm not even bothered about staying, I would just love to explore inside and maybe go to the spa and have dinner because it just looks so beautiful outside, especially now around Christmas, the lights are so pretty! Of course a nights stay would be a bonus!
Roman Baths in Bath
I dont really know much about this but it's somewhere Andrew has said he wants to take me for a few years now, we just never gotten around to it! Maybe this years the year!
Punting in Cambridge
I managed to finally visit Oxford this year for Carolines wedding and I really loved it there plus gondolas in venice was incredible so I would love to go punting along the river in cambridge, it sounds like such a fun day out!
Babbington House in Somerset
Ok so I took inspiration from Tanya and Jim but it just looks like the most incredible place for a relaxed, break away from everything!
 Do You Want To Explore The UK?

CHRISTMAS: Giftset Guide

Wednesday 16 December 2015

Yey It's that time again when I can start to get excited about Christmas, although in all honestly, I have been excited since October haha. I love Christmas and I love writing about it so lets get this giftset gift guide started! Have you been naughty or nice this year? If its the latter, why not treat yourself to a gift set too!

Molton Brown Gift Set
 This pretty little box is the Cruise Collection gift set which is exclusive to Boots. It costs £26 and contains four 100ml bottles in their Pink Pepperpod and White Sandalwood scents - you get a body wash and a body lotion in each scent! Aren't they just the perfect little bottles for a trip away!? I love the pretty colours together and they both have lovely winter scents.

Hotel Chocolat
I always get something from Hotel Chocolat for Christmas from Andrews family, I think it is a tradition of theirs which I am all to happy to be a part of! I eat chocolate all year round but Christmas is the perfect time to get hold of some of the more expensive higher quality stuff!

This is a giftset gift guide after all so after hunting through their site, I came across The Everything Collection which comes all wrapped up in a black box. It costs £25 and is filled with a selection of their most popular yummy treats - Billionaire’s Shortbread truffles (currently eating); Salted Caramel Puddles (already been eaten); Chocolate Brownies; Little Cheesecakes; 40% Milk Puddles; and a three nano slab and now that I have written this post.. I can tear into the rest!

Ghost Fragrance Gift Set
This is the Deep Night Gift Set for Ghost and it's also exclusive to Boots. The set contains at 30ml moon shape bottle of the fragrance and a 50ml of body lotion in the same Deep Night scent for £25. I love how the name of the perfume is inspired blossoms that it contains. The flower is called Belle Du Nuit which means Beauty of the night in French and means its quite fruity and floral. I also love the deep purple and sparkly silver together in the set.

L’Occitane Cherry Blossom Collection
Next up is the Delicate Cherry Blossom Collection from L’Occitane. This costs £49 and arrived in a lovely box wrapped up with a gold ribbon as you can see. The set contains an Eau de Toilette, Shower Gel, Shimmering Lotion, Soap and a Hand Cream all in the soft, fresh and floral cherry blossom scent reminiscent of the cherry trees blossoming on first day of Spring. Lovely for a mum or anyone whos into skincare.

Aromatherapy Associates
I was only introduced to Aromatherapy Associates myself earlier this year but as soon as I was, I fell in love with their luxuriousness. They are British brand, hand-blending essential oil with the idea to create a sense of well-being and mindfulness which I like the sound of!

Firstly, the packaging is so christmassy in red and gold, I love it! I've got the Bath Jewels set which comes in this pretty triangle casing and contains a Deep Relax Bath & Shower Oil 9ml, a Revive Morning Bath & Shower Oil 9ml and a De-Stress Mind Bath & Shower Oil 9ml - £28

Relax & Revive
This duo features two of Aromatherapy Associates' iconic blends
- See more at:
These smaller set is called the Relax & Revive duo and also come in the pretty red and gold packaging. They are the perfect size roller balls to throw in your handbag and get out whenever you need to feel relaxed or revived when your out and about - £18

Crabtree & Evelyn Giftsets
So I mentioned Crabtree & Evelyn in last years guide and I have some products from them again this year as they are always beautifully packaged and just make perfect gifts. 

This year, I was lucky enough to get hold of one of their foodie gifts and I can see this is the sort of thing I would buy every year because the biscuits are so delicious. This tin comes in at £18.50 and includes around 30 assorted biscuits. Again, this year, I have a hand cream set similar to the trio set from last year and again, these are perfect! The pretty Christmas keepsakes tin contains three generously sized hand creams for £12.50 and they have five different sets so you can pick the scents you like best.

Baylis the Bear Gift Set
We all know bath products are great ideas for gifts, especailly for people you're not sure what to buy for! This kit from Baylis and Harding comes with a super cute teddy "Baylis The Bear." As well as Baylis, the set includes a spiced fruity (mandarin, grapefruit and lemon with jasmine and orange blossom) selection of body wash, lotion and bath salts.

Lush Winter Wonderland
This year, I was lucky enough to get hold of a Winter Wonderland giftset from Lush and I am so excited to use it! It comes in a big green hexagonal box and is wrapped up with a thick gold ribbon - very christmassy. This is one is for bath lovers and is full of bath bombs, melts and bubble bars. This set is massive with 20 products inside and is a huge joy to dig into, I had so much fun grabbing around to see what was going to come out next! I cant wait to try some of the ones I havent had before like Father Christmas and Cinders.

Kiehls Pocket-sized Perfection set
And the last item in this post is a cute little travel set from Kiehls with a Lip Balm #1, Ultimate Strength Hand Salve and a Creme de Corps deluxe.

Are You Ready For Christmas?

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CHRISTMAS: Gift Guide For Men

Monday 14 December 2015

As a girl, I kinda find it hard to buy for guys, I dont know what they want - they wont be super excited to find a huge bar of chocolate or a little wrapped up bath bomb, at the bottom of a gift bag like I do (just me?) so I thought I would be proactive this year and actually take a month or two to start searchng for whats out there for men!

Wash bag and product sets
These sorts of gifts for guys seem really popular! I came across loads of them and found the right one for the each of the guys in my life. This skincare one from Man Cave at Superdrug. You get a brown wash bag which comes filled with a face scrub, face wash, moisturiser and a flannel, its going to be perfect for my youngest brother who is 16 and starting to really care about keeping his skin looking fresh and spot free.
This next one is hair based and is a 3-step Grooming Kit from Label M (£22.45) - featuring the GQ award-winning Scalp Purifying Shampoo, the everyday Grooming Cream and best-selling Deconstructor all presented in a stylish wash bag - perfect for my other brother who is a little bit emo (like I was haha) and has long annoying hair that needs to be in the right place at all times.
What other vanity kits did I find? Well there is this one from Bulldog. This one doesnt come with a bag but it's some of Andrews favourite stuff so a few products to top up his collection is perfect. As you can see, its called The Kennel and it's £12 from Boots.
and the last one I found was the Black Pepper and Ginsing set from Baylis & Harding which again, comes in a wash bag and is my favourite wash bag of the three. Inside are four mini products - a hair and body wash, aftershave balm, shower gel and face wash in the Black Pepper and Ginseng scent which is very musky and manly. This one seems that bit more grown up and classy - perfect for a weekend away!
Moving on to a different sort of bathroom product, I have this trio from Molton Brown which I think is a really lovely gift. The bottles are full sized and come in a smart silver box with a grey ribbon. The collection of three are all very manly scents - I think these will go down very well with the more sophisticated man!
Moving on to shaving gadgets and I have a couple! Firstly is this Gillette kit in collaboration with Spectre from Boots. Remember I was talking about my younger brother before? Well he's starting to need to shave and a kit like this is perfect because it looks great and contains everything he needs to get started (1 x FlexBall Manual Razor, 2 x ProGlide Razor Blades & 1 x ProGlide Shave Gel 75ml).
The next one is an electric razor from Braun Series 3.This is the kind of thing my grandad would love. It has been designed with MicroComb Technology, helping to get the closest shave and leave skin is less irritated. It's a little bit pricey but the perfect, useful gift!
Now we move away from bathroom based gifts on to some other bits and pieces. 

First is a new wallet - Yes! Men use wallets right? I know Andrew does, although he is super fussy and will only use it if it has a coin pocket so this one from Ralph Lauren's holiday shop is pretty perfect really. Its brown, soft leather and it has their logo embossed in the corner and it has a coin pocket.  Perfect.
and to finish off? Alcohol. I have two brothers and almost all of my friends are boys and do you know what boys like? They like alcohol. My brothers are going through their alcopop phase, my dad loves a cheeky beer in the evening and Andrew and his friends will drink anything from spirits to a bottle of rose. So it's really the perfect, fail safe gift.

My family love diet coke so around Christmas, the house is full of the stuff with and extra stash in the garage for backup so Disaronno and Tia Maria are the perfect bottles to leave out in the kitchen incase anyone fancies some in their drinks. Both of the bottles I have here are special edition - I went along to the Tia Maria X Grazia launch party a couple weeks ago and ended up with a bottle from the new collection in a lovely monochrome gift tin and the Disaronno is designed with Roberto Cavalli.

Whisky is one for my dad, so this bottle of Grants is perfect for him! He's not a huge drinker but has a garage full of bottles so whether he drinks this straight away or not, it'll be great for the collection.

When it comes to vodka, I just love Absolut. I love the writing on the frosted bottles and all the crazy flavours you can get it in. For my gift guide, I have a couple bottles of Absolut Peppar which is great for drinks like a Bloody Mary or anything with a bit of a spicy kick.

The wine is new in from Echo Falls and combines in some fruity flavours - I'm sure the boys would love these and as for the Babycham, it's always nice to have something sparkling.
Apart from the alcohol itself I also picked up some bits and pieces from funkin cocktails. Whats a boy to do with all this alcohol? Well in my brothers case, make cocktails - hes just started at uni and loves mixing things up to make something that tastes good and showing off to his friends so some bits and pieces from Funkin are great! They sell all sorts utensils and mixers to make the perfect cocktails.
Lastly - Aftershave! Guys often dont buy this sort of stuff for themselves so they make great christmas gifts! Here I have Hugo Boss and CK Eternity Now which is juicy with nectarine, succulent lychee, peach blossoms, and soft cashmere.
Still struggling which gift ideas? One last thing to think about could be a gift experience?
Recently I have realised that I much prefer an experience over an item and I think Andrew does too!

Have You Done Your Christmas Shopping Yet?

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